By Phillip Leaman

14 August 2018

The Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2018 came into effect on 26 May 2018.
Are you an estate agent?
Have you read them yet?

Apart from re-arranging some sections, estate agents have additional obligations of professional conduct. They include:

  • To not only act fairly and honestly but also to act in ‘good faith’ in performing their role;
  • Not to mislead tenants about landlord’s instructions;
  • Not mislead purchasers about a vendor’s instructions;
  • If a vendor has given you instructions not to forward offers to them (for example, unless they are with a signed contract) then an agent has an obligation to inform the prospective purchaser/tenant that the offer will not be submitted to the vendor;
  • More onerous obligations on property managers to attend to requests by tenants of maintenance of and repairs to properties (subject to landlord’s instructions);
  • An obligation for an agent to inform a landlord that any refusal to carry out a repair may be a breach of the tenancy agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act 1997;
  • Buyers advocates must keep purchasers informed of each stage of the negotiation of a purchase price as instructed by the purchaser;
  • Implement a dispute resolution procedure which contains:
    • The position title and contact details of the person to whom a complaint may be given;
    • The times and places at which notice of complaints may be given and details of the dispute resolution procedure.
  • Notify a person that the agent has procedures for resolving complaints and disputes before signing written tenancy agreements from a person and as soon as possible after obtaining the signed written tenancy agreement.

It is important to remember that these obligations are in addition to an estate agent’s existing obligations set out in the Estate Agent’s Act and the regulations to behave in a certain way and to provide certain information and disclosures.

 

If you are unsure of your legal obligations, need your authorities reviewed or need advice on estate agent matters, contact Phillip Leaman, an expert in Estate Agent’s law and acting for estate agents and agencies.

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